Spencer requests suspension lift
Paul Greene, the attorney for 400m hurdler Kaliese Spencer, yesterday requested that the provisional suspension against the athlete for an anti-doping rule violation be lifted, pending the outcome of a hearing before the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel scheduled for May 15.
Spencer, dressed in slate-grey pants suit, blue ruffled blouse and blue pumps, was the picture of composure and smiled amiably with those present at yesterday's preliminary hearing at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, where she was also accompanied by her agent, Marvin Anderson.
Greene made the argument that there was a only short period of time before the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) National Senior Championships begins on June 22, and that a provisional suspension was merely optional as Spencer did not test positive for a prohibited substance. He requested that the panel, chaired by Kent Gammon and including Heron Dale and Donovan Calder, consider lifting the suspension.
"We're concerned about timing, and JADCO, in the past, has taken too long under the rules to have a hearing. Miss Spencer is an IAAF international-level athlete and those rules require a hearing within two months, which the panel clearly understood," he told the media afterwards.
Greene also noted that the hearing to suspend Spencer should have been made before the panel instead of privately before the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission's Executive Director, Carey Brown.
"And they didn't provide any evidence at the provisional suspension hearing... and for those reasons, we believe the suspension should be lifted," he added.
"I'm very surprised that they didn't provide any evidence at the provisional suspension hearing. How do you decide to put an optional provisional suspension in place without presenting any evidence that she should be suspended? I'm not surprised, because I've dealt with JADCO in the past; but I am surprised in general that it happened that way," Greene said.
The Gleaner posed that question of why a hearing was done privately to Carey Brown, who said he could not answer because he was rushing off to another engagement.
Lackston Robinson, who also represented JADCO at the hearing, said his body had no objections to the lifting of a suspension.
Gammon, meanwhile, said that the panel would consider the request with the decision to be communicated within a week. The hearing is scheduled to begin on May 15 at 11 a.m.
JADCO was given until April to submit their brief and bundle of documents, including witness statements, while Greene said he would respond by April 28.
Greene added that if the outcome was not in Spencer's favour, her defence team could pursue the option of going directly to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland to ask for provisional relief.
"Our biggest concern is timing. If we can get a decision by June 1, let's assume she loses, we can then go to CAS and ask for provisional relief and then she compete in the trials. If we can show irreparable harm and likelihood of success, which we will be able to show, she then can compete pending the outcome of the CAS case because if she wins and she didn't compete at trials, she can't go to Worlds (Championships)," he explained.